What is the Purpose of Having a Will?

21 December 2016

By Head of Wills, Solicitor James Antoniou

It’s often said that making a Will is very important and something everyone should do. Despite this general consensus, many people still do not have a Will in place. Here we look at the purpose of having a Will.

There are a number of reasons that could be given but ultimately it depends on your own point of view. Some see making a Will as being a responsibility. Making sure your affairs are in order prevents your loved ones from being burdened after your death.

Others see putting a Will in place as being more about their legacy and how they want to be remembered by family and friends.

Alternatively, making a Will may be more about ensuring your loved ones benefit from your Estate in a particular way.

For example, if one of your beneficiaries were disabled or vulnerable you may want to protect their inheritance using a Trust Will, so that the inheritance can be managed on their behalf by someone you choose.

Another possible scenario is where you are in a long term relationship but have children from previous relationships. This creates difficulties if you want to your children to ultimately inherit your Estate, but you'd like your partner to perhaps continue living in your house after your death. Again, with the right advice, you could use your Will to facilitate this.

But making a Will is not just for people with complicated affairs. They're for everyone. If you die without a Will in place, your Estate passes in a way that the law dictates and not the individual. Furthermore, even if your wishes happened to match the law, there's no guarantee that the law won’t change it the future - and it’s the laws when you die that matter, not the ones in place today.

This is why peace of mind is one of the main reasons for making a Will. Whilst no-one really wants to spend a lot of time considering their demise, putting a Will in place provides comfort knowing that you've made your wishes clear and taken some time to consider the impact on your loved ones.

It also helps avoid confusion during a very difficult time for those you leave behind.

Writing a Will does not need to be overly expensive but it does need to be drafted properly. We would also recommend that you avoid unregulated Will writing businesses, and instead use a professional with a recognised brand name that you can trust.

Co-op Legal Services are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, just like every firm of Solicitors in the country has to be. This is for your protection.

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